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Foraging ecology, territoriality and seasonality of the Common Paradise Kingfisher at Brown River, Papua New Guinea.


Data on the kingfisher Tanysiptera galatea, taken at Brown River, Papua New Guinea, are presented.  The species forages almost entirely in the lower understorey of rainforest or on the ground, with pronounced seasonal change involving foraging at lower levels during the wet season.  Food observed was earthworms, large insects and a lizard, the worms being probed for in the ground.  Population density is estimated at 50 birds/10 ha.  The adults are monogamous, remain paired, hold territory year-round and are extraordinarily sedentary.  Territories average about 0.3-0.5 ha.  Breeding occurs within the wet season in contrast to other kingfishers in the same area, which commence breeding prior to the wet season.  Considerable intraspecific aggression occurs prior to breeding and three possible agonistic displays are described.  The nest is tunnelled into arboreal termiteria on lower trunks.  In contrast to adults, immatures have high dispersal ability. Lack of food resources are considered to be as important as aggression by adults in contributing to dispersal.  Annual adult mortality is at most 25-33% and probably much less, while annual increment of independent young is at least 150%.  Moult occurs after breeding and takes two months or less.  Immatures attain adult plumage probably 3-4 months after fledging.  The bird is considered well-adapted to cope with waxing and waning of suitable habitat.

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